Dreaming in Digital

Saturday Night Special

The Pre-Hangover Run

The car pulled up to Kaitō’s block right as the clock hit 2200; Collateral was right on time. The runner opened the passenger door and hopped in, checking his gun’s snugness in its hidden holster. The wheelman glanced over at him, shifting gears to throw the infiltrator back into his seat. “V-Tec just kicked in,” he said with a smirk.

Kaitō worked to mask his discomfort. This was his first run with a member of the Shattered Link, and he hoped to make a good impression. When Collateral called this morning asking him to ride shotgun, he was duty-bound to offer his help; regardless of that, though, he would have done so in a heartbeat. Though he was best-equipped for covert B&E-type jobs, every now and then the infiltrator liked to get his hands dirty. Their ‘run to the barrens tonight promised just enough to keep him interested, in that regard.

As they swung hard around a turn onto the 405, Collateral gave Kaitō a grin. A small group of bikers were coming up fast behind them, the engines on their souped-up crotch-rockets buzzing like a swarm of angry hornets. “Ready to hit Redmond?”

Kaitō nodded and held on as Collateral made the Eurocar dance. He downshifted and slammed on the brakes, spinning the car around while catching two unfortunates with the front and rear fenders. Completing the spin, Collateral quickly ramped through three gears as the turbocharged Eurocar took them well ahead of the remaining bikers, who had conveniently dismounted to see to their de-biked brethren.

He grinned at Kaitō. “Are you having fun? I know I am.”

The infiltrator reluctantly let go of the handle above the door; it was grooved where his hand had dug into it. “You could call it that.”

They exited the 405 without further incident, rolling into the Redmond Barrens. The car most definitely stood out; less because it was a Westwind and more because it had all four wheels. Collateral went over the plan one last time on their way to the target.

“You got it straight?”

“Walk into an orc-ganger bar, find the biggest one in there, yank his chain, and make sure they see this,” Kaitō said, gesturing to the green stylized A pinned on his leather jacket. “Also, don’t get geeked.”

“I knew we picked you up for something.”

They rolled up to the bar and Kaitō stepped out, his hood pulled down low over his shock of black hair. “Keep it running, I’ll only be a minute.”

As Kaitō walked in, he was relieved to see their contact’s info was legit. There were only a handful of orcs drinking in here, with a troll bartender; the rest of the gang was off fighting a turf war with a splinter-group of Ancients. “Which of you trogs is Bart?”

Immediately, five occupants of the bar swung their heads toward the elf “Who the fuck you callin’ a trog, keeb?” said a sixth, standing up from a game of cards.

He was obviously a Changeling; there weren’t too many blue orks. Also apparent was the gold Aztec talisman Collateral had been hired to bring back to his Mr. Johnson. Kaitō left the question unanswered, instead rushing the big ork by vaulting the card table and placing a solid roundhouse to the side of his head. Sand scoured Bart’s face, leaving unhealthy-looking purple abrasions. Before he could even retaliate, the elf followed it up with a second kick, this time square to the jaw. The ork fell limp to the ground, his gun half-drawn. The five remaining orks hadn’t even cleared their seats before Kaitō hopped off the table and rode their fallen leader to the ground, snatching the necklace from him. He straightened his jacket, flashed them his Ancient’s logo, and was out the door with a hail of gunfire following him. A round skipped off Kaitō’s armored bicep, plinking Collateral’s car.

As Kaitō hopped into the car, the wheelman gunned it, leaving a couple hundred meters of burnt rubber outside the bar. “Dammit man, be more careful! Those assholes almost punched a hole in my baby!”

“I’m sure you can afford to patch it with the cash from this,” he replied, dangling the Aztec talisman from his hand.

“Not bad for a few hours’ work,” Collateral replied, a grin slowly spreading across his face. “You know, I thought you had it sideways, based on the way they were spraying out the door.”

“Oh ye of little faith.”

“すみません. Make it up to you with a drink?”

“Sounds like a plan.”



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